Annotated Bibliography

Suzette Haden Elgin

Short Fiction

"Old Rocking Chair's Got Me," in Fantasy And Science Fiction, 1974.

Explains the real function of rockingchairs in the Ozarks....

"Lest Levitation Come Upon Us," (novella); in Perpetual Light, ed. Alan Ryan. Warner Books NY, 1982; also in a paperback edition; also as a television episode for "Tales From the Dark Side," (Lorimar).

Written after reading about the embarassment suffered by Saint Teresa -- who had to be held down in church because of her tendency to levitate during religious ecstasy, and thinking what it would be like if the saint were a woman of today; a story about the inconvenience of sainthood and how difficult it is to escape that state...

"Magic Granny Says Don't Meddle", in Fantasy And Science Fiction, 1984.

Explains the real function of ticks in the Ozarks....

"Lo, How an Oak E'er Blooming," in Fantasy And Science Fiction, 1986.

A story about a minor miracle....

"Hush My Mouth," in Alternative Histories, ed. Waugh and Greenberg, Garland Publishing NY, 1986.

The South wins the Civil War, but there are language problems afterward....

"Tornado," in Fantasy and Science Fiction, 1989.

Explains the real function of tornadoes in the Ozarks and elsewhere, and why they are so often attracted to trailer parks...

"What the EPA Don't Know Won't Hurt Them," in Fantasy and Science Fiction, 1990; reprinted on-line at Infinity Plus

Explains why so many Ozark households have junk lying about on the porch and in the yard; prequel to the Ozark Trilogy....

"Only a Housewife," in Fantasy And Science Fiction, 1995.

Closest thing to a horror story Elgin has ever written; about a world in which housewives are truly homemakers, joined at the hip to the houses they oversee....

"Soulfedge Rock," in Space Opera, ed. Anne McCaffrey and Elizabeth Ann Scarborough. DAW Books 1996.

About the use of singing to communicate with people — and other things — that cannot speak in the ordinary way....

"Weather Bulletin," 1999.

"We Have Always Spoken Panglish," SciFiction, 2004.

"Honor Is Golden," Analog, May 2004


Coyote Jones

The Communipaths. Ace Publications, NY, 1970. Now available online.

Coyote Jones, intrepid TGIS man (agent for the Tri-Galatic Intelligence Service) is sent to capture and bring to justice the rogue telepath who is fouling up the intergalatic communication system (also telepathic) that keeps the universe of the Three Galaxies running...

Furthest. Ace Publications NY, 1971.

Coyote Jones is sent to investigate a planet (Furthest) so average in every way that it makes the government suspicious. While finding out what's really going on, he becomes entangled with a mindwife....

At The Seventh Level. DAW Books NY, 1972.

Coyote Jones is sent to find out who is trying to murder the poet Jacinth, who -- because she is a woman as well as a poet, living in a society where poets have high status and women have no status at all — cannot be investigated by the local law enforcement personnel. Coyote's disability (almost total mind-deafness) and his unique psibility (projective telepathy powerful enough to create hallucinations in huge crowds) interact to solve the crime and administer rough justice on the spot....

Star-Anchored, Star-Angered. Doubleday NY 1979; DAW Books NY 1984.

Coyote Jones is sent to prove that an alleged female messiah is a fraud and that her alleged miracles are faked; his mind-deafness, which makes him immune to telepathically-created illusions, makes him the perfect agent for the assignment. To his surprise, however, Drussa Silver turns out to be the genuine article....

The Sad Fate of Coyote Jones

The Ozark Fantasy Trilogy

Twelve Fair Kingdoms

The Grand Jubilee

And Then There'll Be Fireworks

Doubleday NY, 1981; Berkley Publishing NY, 1983. (A Science Fiction Book Club alternate selection.) Reprint: University of Arkansas Press, 2000.
Twelve Ozark families, disgusted with the mess that has been made of Earth, abandon their home planet and settle another one which they name simply "Ozark." [To find out how they did it, read Elgin's short story, "What the EPA Don't Know Won't Hurt Them".] Planet Ozark runs by a system of magic based on generative transformational grammar; it has flying mules, it has magicians, it has castles and kingdoms (but no royalty); it has Grannys; it has interesting "aliens"; it has three young women: Responsible of Brightwater, Troublesome of Brightwater, and Silverweb of McDaniels. A story with a different sort of Judas in it, where the relationship isn't "good versus evil" but the mutual interactions of good (whose agent is Silverweb of McDaniels) and evil (agent, Troublesome of Brightwater) and the balanced middle (headed up by Responsible of Brightwater)...

Yonder Comes the Other End of Time. DAW Books NY 1986.

The Coyote Jones series and the Planet Ozark series come together in an extravaganza of duelling psibilities...

The Native Tongue Trilogy

Native Tongue. DAW Books NY 1984. (And in British, Spanish and German editions.) Reprint: Feminist Press, 2000

Set in an alternate near-future United States where linguists (living communally, like 20th-century circus families) are hated because only they are able to communicate effectively with the alien civilizations that carry on commerce and diplomacy with Earth. One plot-line deals with the conflict between the Linguist Lines and the government; another focuses on the secret project of the women of the Lines — the construction of a language that will express the perceptions of women more satisfactorily than existing human languages do. This novel and its sequels are a thought-experiment that escaped from the lab....

Native Tongue II: The Judas Rose. DAW Books NY 1987. (Also in British, Spanish and German editions.) Feminist Press reissue, October 2002.

The women of the Linguist Lines attempt to spread their constructed language (called Láadan, meaning "the language of those who perceive") throughout the universe by infiltrating the convents of the Roman Catholic Church....

Native Tongue III: Earthsong. DAW Books NY 1993.

The women linguists, aware that their Láadan experiment has failed, try to use it (and what they've learned from their mistakes with it) as a model for solving the problem of human hunger. By the time the governments of Earth move to stop this new experiment -- because they've realized that the elimination of hunger will destroy the world's economies -- it's too late; this time, the women of the Lines have succeeded....


A First Dictionary and Grammar of Láadan: Second Edition. Edited by Diane Martin. SF3 (Madison, Wisconsin) 1988.

Nonfiction; a teaching grammar for the constructed language that is a major plot device in the Native Tongue series. Fourteen lessons, an English/Láadan dictionary, a Láadan/English dictionary, and supplemental materials. (A cassette tape for use with the dictionary is available from Elgin.)

Genderspeak John Wiley & Sons. April 1993. ISBN: 0471580163

"There's a theory that English-speaking males and females have language behavior differences linked specifically to their differing biological genders. It gets its most primitive formulation in John Gray's Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus books and tapes; it gets its most scholarly formulation in the work of Deborah Tannen, author of the mass market smash, You Just Don't Understand, a stack of scholarly articles and books, and op-ed pieces galore. I believe that the theory is seductive, and comforting — and wrong. I wrote GenderSpeak to argue against the idea that there is any such thing as GenderSpeak for English. (No matter how many times I told the publishers that, I couldn't persuade them not to call it GenderSpeak, no.)

Where to get the books